The free MTN Online School has been launched and is now available to all learners and teachers who need access to official learning material.
The cellular network worked with the Department of Basic Education and the National Education Collaboration Trust to establish this integrated online portal for grade R to 12 learners.
When the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) spread to South Africa in 2020, schools without online facilities had to pause their teaching programmes. It is hoped that the MTN Online School will help close the gap between learners in public schools and those in private schools when it comes to access to learning materials.
“A full content library will be added to the platform and made available over a period of three years, focusing on key subjects. Video lessons will also be provided, with a sign language interpreter to accommodate deaf learners,” says MTN SA Chief Executive Officer Godfrey Motsa.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the school is a major development for South Africa, because commonly used education content will be accessible to all learners in the country, wherever they are.
“The online school is a huge investment, and it will help government in addressing the digital divide. However, we will have to move with speed to provide more digital skills to teachers,” says Motshekga.
Simelokuhle Sisoka (17) from Old Mill High School in KwaZulu-Natal is one of the learners who have been using the online school to study for her Grade 12 final exams.
“The online school is of great help, and it really feels like you are in class with a teacher. There are videos and illustrations that explain things clearly. I also like how it is organised; each topic covered has its own video,” she says.
“There is also a help desk if you are having problems with the platform or the content,” she adds.
As part of the ongoing Presidential Youth Employment Initiative, some of the graduates recruited through the Basic Education Employment Initiative will be responsible for introducing learners to the online school.
Access the online school
The online school is available via the website www.mtnonlineschool.co.za. or the MTN Online School mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Android app store and the Apple iStore. Type ‘MTN Online School’, then follow the instructions to register.